Thursday, December 13, 2012

About Placebos

QUESTION: What do you think about using placebos in healing?

ANSWER: Since I believe that all healing comes from within, my personal opinion is that all healing techniques and procedures - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual - are placebos. However, let's discuss this from a more common viewpoint.

In today's world a placebo is usually thought of as something you give to or do to or do for a sick person that is, as said in a very well researched article on Wikipedia, "a simulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient." Of course, this is the viewpoint of conventional medicine. In the book, "Science and Secrets of Early Medicine," author J├╝rgen Thorwald, in writing about ancient healing methods, says, "Clearly, sacrifice, magical rites, and exorcisms were a major aspect of Inca medicine. But a group of real healers also existed."

Outside of the viewpoint of conventional medicine, a placebo is often thought of as any non-medical means by which a healer can facilitate a healing. In this view, placebos are not used to deceive a patient, but to promote a healing. The effectiveness of placebos is so evident that even conventional medical practitioners have to reluctantly admit that placebos can account for somewhere around 37% of all cures. That number can be misleading, however, because a lot depends on how placebos are presented. Factors that can greatly increase or reduce that percentage are the attitude of the patient, the attitude of the health practitioner, and the appearance of the placebo itself.

The "real healers" in ancient cultures may have been those wise enough to combining sacrifice, magical rites, exorcisms, in addition to practices more familiar to modern doctors, in order to increase the the possibility of a cure as much as possible.

Apparently, some modern medical practices may not be nearly as effective as placebos. In cases of cancer, it is common for doctors to say at some point that chemotherapy may provide the patient with a 50-50 percent chance of recovery. Out of fear and/or intimidation, most patients will opt for chemotherapy, but the 50-50 chance is really saying that both chemotherapy and placebos stand an equal chance of providing a cure. The situation with this specific condition and treatment may be even worse than that. An Australian study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology Volume 16, Issue 8, December 2004, pages 549-560, says that the percentage of survival five years after chemotherapy treatment was only 3%. Even placebos ought to be able to do better than that.

To conclude this rant, I think the healing is more important than the method, so use whatever works for the problem and the person involved.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Dark Night of the Soul"

QUESTION: During all the years of following your spiritual path did you ever experience dark moments as those of Saint John of the Cross in the "Dark night of the Soul"? Or was it always easy, no doubts, no fear?

ANSWER: I wish you could hear me laughing :)

Of course I have experienced doubts and fears many times, which is why I know so much about them. They still occur. However, as I become more adept at the skills I've learned, they get shorter and shorter. From a few weeks in my early days of learning to only a few seconds now. It is my opinion that anyone who claims to be completely free of doubt or fear is either lying or in denial. It is a natural human experience that usually occurs when one is under stress. As one becomes more self aware, which includes being more environmentally aware, it becomes easier and easier to move out of doubt and fear and into clarity and confidence. All it takes is practice... lots and lots of it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shizophrenia

QUESTION: What are your thoughts on schizophrenia?

ANSWER: Schizophrenia is a name given to a variety of mental, emotional and physical symptoms, with emphasis on so-called "psychotic" behavior. This is defined as being out of touch with "external reality," which really means the mainstream ideas of what reality is supposed to be. Psychotic behavior includes hearing voices that no one else can hear, hallucinations (seeing things that no one else can see), and feeling things that no one else can feel. Oddly enough, this is normal behavior for psychics, mystics, and shamans. The real problem in what we are calling schizophrenia is the content of the "psychotic" behavior and the individual's reaction to that content, both of which arise from excessive emotional stress. Schizophrenia is typically associated with extreme anxiety, paranoia, depression, and rage, as well as a variety of related physical problems. Unfortunately, the condition is treated primarily with antipsychotic drugs that have their own serious side effects. In my opinion, shifting the focus to drugless emotional healing and deep physical relaxation would produce better results.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Aloha Spirit and Pigs

QUESTION: How can Hawaiian tradition talk about "aloha" when they actually bake pigs, chickens and other animals for eating when they are our brothers or sisters in different bodies?

ANSWER: In Hawaiian tradition the Aloha Spirit is applied to everyone and everything. This means that everything is alive, aware, and responsive, and nothing is more alive than anything else. This tradition includes respect for all things, including rocks, plants, animals, humans, and stars. The Creator in deep wisdom made everything interdependent. Rocks (minerals) consume plants, animals, and humans; animals consume plants and other animals and rocks; humans of different kinds and beliefs consume plants, animals, and rocks. It is good to respect the rights of different people to consume what they believe is good for them, and even better to encourage them to have respect and appreciation for what they consume, whether it is plants, animals, or rocks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Being A Shaman

QUESTION: How do you know if you are a shaman?

ANSWER: That's like asking "How do you know if you are an athlete?" If you think the way an athlete thinks and do what an athlete does, you can be called an athlete. The same is true of a shaman. It is a vocation, not a state of being. If you think the way a shaman thinks and do what a shaman does, you can be called a shaman. In a particular culture, there might be an initiation to recognize your status in the community, but it is your demonstrated ability that makes you a shaman, not the initiation. And, since "shaman" is only a borrowed word to describe someone who engages in certain kinds of activities and views the world in a certain way, the precise definition of a shaman can vary from culture to culture and place to place. Of course, if you don't know how a shaman thinks or what a shaman does, then the question itself is irrelevant.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How To Change Yourself

QUESTION: You have said that in order to change something, you have to change something. So in personal terms, how do you change something?

ANSWER: In order to change something about yourself with conscious intent, you have to want the pleasure of something you don't have more than the pleasure of something you do have. For instance if you want to lose weight, you have to want the pleasure of having a lighter body more than the pleasure of eating more than you can burn. If you want a lot of friends, you have to want the pleasure of friendship more than the pleasure of criticizing and complaining. If you want to stop smoking, there has to be something about being a non-smoker that you want more than the pleasure of smoking. The concept is simple. It's the application that's difficult for most people.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hawaiian Boat Blessing

QUESTION: How would one do a Hawaiian christening/blessing of a new boat?

ANSWER: No one knows exactly how the ancient Hawaiians blessed their boats, but a typical modern Hawaiian-style blessing could be as follows:

1. Fill a small bowl with fresh water (salt water is used for cleansing).
2. Obtain a long leaf (ti leaf if possible, fern leaf is next best, but any leaf will do).
3. Hang some kind of lei over the gangway or entrance to the boat (flowers or leaves, real or symbolic. In Hawaii maile vine would be used if possible).
4. Announce to all present the purpose of the blessing.
5. Cut or undo the lei (this is like cutting the navel cord).
6. Dip the leaf in the bowl and sprinkle all areas of the boat while giving some sort of blessing ("May this boat be blessed with love, power, and success" (in Hawaiian: E ho'omaika'i i keia wa'a me ke aloha, me ka mana, me ka pono).
7. Have everyone present hold hands on or near the boat and give a personal blessing for the boat and the owners/operators.
8. End the blessing with a song, a chant, or a simple "Thank you" and a hug.
9. Finish with a luau, a "pupu" (snack) party, or some kind of refreshments.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Healing Radioactivity

QUESTION: With the ongoing recent events in Japan I was wondering what recommendations you could share about  working with healing that situation from the perspective of Huna.  Have been sending Reiki the past few days to specific groups of people and the earth, and have previously used your suggestions in the Shamanic Healing in the Wake of Katrina article for many things with positive results.

ANSWER: From the perspective of assuming that everything is alive, aware, and responsive, we can talk to the earth and rocks telepathically, we can dream a good dream for them, and we can grok them and gently relax. Working with radioactive materials is essentially the same, but requires fearlessness, a high degree of focus, and working as well with the humans involved, both the victims and the helpers.